Why Micro-Moments Dictate Customer Journeys

Why Micro-Moments Dictate Customer Journeys



Digital transformation is a game changer for conventional marketing. The use of smartphones combined with increasingly-optimised mobile applications make on-the-go impulsive purchasing decisions possible. Consumer decision-making occurs in micro-moments. To be competitive, businesses need to embrace this intel and respond in a timely manner.

Instant decision-making in a digital society

Traditional, rigid marketing campaigns can no longer accommodate the customer journey, which has grown more volatile and dynamic in a networked environment. Conventional marketing messages have become obsolete as they often reach the consumer at the wrong time. When reaching for a smartphone to look up a location, make dinner reservations, or do online-banking, consumers engage in micro-moments. They look for immediate solutions, and previously-instilled brand loyalty may not play a primary role. Catching the consumer at the right moment is, therefore, an opportunity for business to draw attention to their brand. The Airport-Hotel sectors have taken advantage of this knowledge quite successfully. By leveraging real-time information on flight delays, they skilfully push content and calls to action, resulting in a significant rise in profit. So, the challenge is to offer relevant and meaningful content at the right moment.

The Right Moment

Micro-moments provide a new mental model to understand consumer behaviour. In marketing, four micro-moments are distinguished:

  • I want to know-Moments
    Moments of research take place along the customer journey to aid decision-making.
  • I want to go-Moments
    Consumers use their smartphone to search for a location or specific business in the neighbouring area.
  • I want to do-Moments
    During these moments, consumers are looking for help; they want to learn how to use a product or service. Online tools are more and more frequently consulted for this purpose. For instance, YouTube searches for ‘how-to’-videos increase yearly by 70%.
  • I want to buy-Moments
    Consumers use their mobile device to facilitate the purchasing process. More than 80% of consumers purchase products or services directly with their smartphone.

Micro-moments show that the interaction between context (which website is the user visiting in a particular moment?), purpose (what does the user want and how can this change?), and immediacy (the user wants an immediate solution) creates a complex path to purchase. So, how can you tailor your message to capitalize on the time window?

The Right Message at the Right Time

To adequately respond to consumers’ immediate wants while leveraging the context, businesses need to:

  • Be there: Provide touch(screen)points wherever and whenever possible. Adjust content to be informative, interactive, inspiring or entertaining, depending on the context.
  • Be useful: Deliver relevant and meaningful content. Ensure optimal usability, concise texts, attractive visuals, and interactive formats.
  • Be quick: Address information needs instantaneously by offering easy-to-consume bite-sized content, optimized for mobile devices.

Micro-moments can be mapped along the customer journey and explored based on predefined target groups, so-called micro-personas. In this way, effective content and formats can be determined. Using listening software can help businesses sharpen the message delivery process by optimizing content relevance and timing. How does this look in practice?

Micro-Moments in Everyday Life

Everyday life is packed with simple micro-moments. A mother goes online to evaluate user reviews on the age-appropriateness of different smartphones for her son. She starts a dialogue with an online community. At this ‘I-want-to-know’-moment, a mobile phone provider uses a keyword-based monitoring tool to scan the dialogue and identify the mother’s need. Now, the company can offer the right information at the right moment.

The digital landscape enables brands to interact with customers in completely new ways.

In a different context, a student goes to a print shop for information about printers. Leveraging the consumer’s location, an online shop sends an invitation to the student’s smartphone. At the right moment, the student receives the desired condensed information simplifying his purchasing decision.

Summary: Brand Presence in the Right Place at the Right Time

The digital landscape enables businesses to motivative consumers to interact with their brands in new ways. Smartphones in particular have fundamentally changed the way users consume information. This presents businesses with a multitude of opportunities to connect and engage with their target audience. Providing the right content at the right time will trigger consumers’ excitement for a brand. A thorough understanding of the new mobile mindset is, however, a prerequisite. Businesses need to master the micro-moments approach to stay competitive. Listening software can support the process unveiling valuable information on the consumer’s context or purpose.

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